At a glance, reality television and small businesses have nothing in common. Robert Galinsky, a showbiz veteran with an entrepreneurial soul, is out to prove otherwise.
Galinsky offers corporate training and private coaching to companies within his New York Reality TV School. His goal is to show businesses how to succeed on Main Street using a Hollywood Boulevard approach. Essentially, Galinsky helps companies recognize how real-life situations translate into a dynamic workplace, on or off-air.
Selling Yourself/Your Company
Applying that reality TV template to a business can bring a more personalized identity to a company.
“Individuals are transparent through Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, personal blogs, and YouTube. Businesses need to catch up to that openness and let the customer see a more personal side of the business,” says Galinsky. “It's a collaborative, interactive relationship. [With] personalization, businesses [deliver] customer loyalty, satisfaction and trust.”
The viral video leg of Galinksy’s consultation produces campaigns like, "Corporate's Got Talent” (CGT) and "Pimp My Cubicle” (PMC) that company’s can stream on their websites to promote brand personality. CGT reveals a company’s untapped work-related talent. PMC introduces small businesses to co-branding relationships. Galinsky once paired Staples with a small business for a cubicle guerilla makeover.
Just as reality TV wants as many eyeballs watching as possible, a company wants a surplus of clients. Through a series of experimental executive and managerial training sessions, a company’s confidence level and openness to different approaches helps them relate to customers as collaborators, says Galinsky. Those reality TV techniques also leave them adept in quick recovery for regrouping after an interruption without losing momentum.
Growing the Business
The entrepreneur and the reality show star ultimately have the same end goals. In order to “win” clients and fans (which equals money), strong communication skills, confidence building, and the development of an authentic personal presence are all critical.
“We correlate creating a fan base with creating a customer base, says Galinsky. “Fans are customers buying a performance or a product. When we enter a business we shake people up and find the individual narratives that make up the DNA of that particular business.”
The science of this reality TV application begins with the discovery/assessment period. Galinsky measures the amount of interaction in a company internally across divisions and with customers. He then develops a planning session with both the CEO and HR manager and together they customize a plan. Last is the implementation of these experimental sessions where individuals in a company learn to come out of their shells and express themselves more genuinely, he uses with entrepreneurial companies. Galinsky creates a safe place for staff to bring their roles, careers, strengths, goals, ambitions, and personal and professional triumphs and challenges to the forefront. The result: creative thinking and individual and team confidence.
The shifting job and financial markets already have small and large businesses stepping back to regroup and reevaluate to remain sustainable. This is the perfect time for reality TV training says Galinsky. Just like the television “retake” of a scene, a workplace scenario can be re-strategized by implementing improvisation or unscripted leadership practices.
When all else fails, Galinsky also develops reality TV show ideas and accepts bankable pitches to sell.